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 Lincoln's Greener Savings Blog 
Tuesday, November 01 2016

“Is My Air Conditioner Causing Global Warming?”

You may well be wondering with the recent announcement of an international agreement to phase out HFCs*, the most common refrigerant used by the air conditioning industry (Money, USA Today, Oct. 15, 2017). HFCs replaced the ozone-depleting CFCs** as mandated by earlier international agreement, the 1989 Montreal Protocols. While not damaging the ozone layer, these replacement refrigerants have since been found to trap thousands of times as much heat in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Hence the new mandate.

*HFCs – hydro-fluorocarbons (R-410A refrigerant).
**CFCs – chlorofluorocarbons (R-22 refrigerant).

Here’s the good news:

  1. As reported by USA Today, if your air conditioner (or heat pump) is working properly, it WON’T release HVCs into the atmosphere. Likewise if your old unit is disposed of properly by an U.S. EPA certified technician, it will not release these harmful gases.
  2. Unlike the fossil fuel industry which is dragging its feet on addressing climate change, our industry is hard at work perfecting systems using new refrigerants that do not contribute to global warming.

What you can do:

  1. The only way to insure that your AC or heat pump is operating working properly is to have it maintained annually by your Balanced HVAC professionals.

Annual maintenance not only assures that your unit is operating safely but also that it is operating at its maximum performance and energy-efficiency.

Additional benefits Balanced HVAC’s maintenance customers enjoy include:

  • PRIORITY SCHEDULING. Even when summer's scorching temperatures or winter's icy blasts have our phones ringing off the hook, you will go to the head of the line.
  • A 25% discount on all parts for needed repairs.
  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  • Manufacturer's warranties maintained. Most warranties require regular maintenance.
  • Family health and safety including protection from deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Enough savings to pay for your next home comfort system.*

*The average Cape Cod homeowner who has his system maintained annually will save approximately $7,400 in utilities and reduced repair costs over the life of his heating/cooling system.

  1. When it comes time to replace your old system, be sure to have it done by your U.S. EPA certified Balanced HVAC professionals. 

Schedule Seasonal Maintenance ServiceSchedule FREE no-pressure consultation

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, July 31 2016

Some Important Advice to Cape Cod property owners with older ACs.

Prices for R-22 refrigerant (aka Freon) have risen sharply over the past few years. Here’s why: A little over 25 years ago, the EPA ordered the gradual phasing out of R-22 as part of the international treaty (the “Montreal Protocol”) aimed at reversing the thinning of the Earth’s critical ozone layer. This thinning is responsible for dramatic increases in skin cancer and cataracts.

The good news: Recent research confirms the fact that the notorious “hole” in the ozone layer has indeed begun to heal. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/antarctic-ozone-hole-healing-fingerprints/

The bad news: Air conditioner repair costs for older units will continue to soar as a result of the spiraling costs and increasing shortage of the R-22 refrigerant.

The 1990 Clean Air Act ended production in 2010 for new air conditioning units “charged” with R-22. Production of the refrigerant itself was immediately reduced by 75%. By 2015, that reduction had reached 90%. The pace of reduction has picked up. As of January 1, 2015, the EPA ordered an immediate drop from 51 million pounds to 22 million pounds, then to 18 million pounds in 2016, 13 million pounds in 2017, 9 million in 2018, and 4 million in 2019, and finally zero U.S. production in 2020.

Although some R-22 is still being recovered and reclaimed from units we replace, the amounts are not nearly enough to meet demand. The resulting shortages have led to dramatic price increases. By 2016, the price for the R-22 refrigerant has more than quadrupled from its 2010 level. By contrast, the cost of the environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant that is used in today’s air conditioners is at the same level Freon was in 2010.

Owners of older air conditioners need to take action now to protect themselves from these spiraling repair costs. Here are Lincoln's recommendations:

  • Service your equipment every season (ACs once and heat pumps twice a year). Although your air conditioner or heat pump is a closed system, leaks do occur. Always a good idea for maximum comfort and efficiency, our precision tune-up will detect leaks early preventing expensive re-charges not to mention damage to the environment.
  • Schedule a no-pressure no-obligation consultation. Lincoln will help you select the right replacement for your comfort goals and for your budget. You'll learn just what you can expect in savings with today's higher efficiency environmentally-friendly replacements. You'll know just how soon you can expect your new system to pay for itself, what impact today's higher efficiencies will have on your electric bills, and what you may gain in family comfort.

    We will collect the refrigerant from your old unit and send it to a recycler. Unfortunately some disreputable contractors will release these harmful chemicals into the environment.

Call 508-428-0974 to schedule
your maintenance service and/or no-pressure consultation.

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 01 2016

Always test your AC system early even before the really warm temperatures arrive. It's the surest way to know that cooling will be there when you do need it. Problems are most likely to appear after your system has been idle for months. You want to identify problems and get them fixed now. It never fails that when temperatures first drop our phones start ringing off the hook. Test now and avoid the rush if your system will need repair.

It's best to perform this simple test when temperatures are first in the 70s. Simply set your thermostat to "cool" and turn down the temperature setting. Wait a while after hearing your system start. Then check to see that there's cool air coming from every vent.

Give us a call if you experience any unusual noises or odors, or if you have any doubts or questions about your system's peformance.

Schedule Maintenance Service

Of course your best assurance of a trouble-free season with special seasonal savings and benefits comes with a precision maintenance service by your Balanced HVAC professional. If you have an air filtration and/or purification system, be sure to have it serviced too.

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, May 01 2016
That's exacly what researchers found when they examined the air conditioners of homeowners complaining about high summer electric bills.

Here's what independent researchers commissioned by Pacific Electric and Gas found:

  • 67% had improper air flow.
  • 53% had dirty or clogged coils.
  • 40% had dirty,clogged or missing filters
  • 27% had refrigerant that was overcharged.
  • 27% had refrigerant that was undercharged.
  • 20% had a refrigerant leak.
  • 93% had duct leakage greater than the recommended maximum.

​They concluded that these homeowners could achieve from between 10% and 30% reductions in energy bills without major repairs.

Annual Maintenance: 
The Most Imporant Service We Perform

Get Started Lowering Your Summer Electric Bills Now
With Balanced HVAC's Precision Maintenance Service.

Schedule Seasonal Maintenance Service

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 04 2016

Please Join Us in Supporting This Important Fundraising Effort.

Founded in 1962, this non-profit hospital is dedicated to saving the lives of children struck down with catastrophic diseases. The hospital’s operating costs are supported entirely by donations from folks like you and us.

All Donations Benefit Sick Children and Their Families!

Unlike other charities reported in the news recently, St. Jude commits all donations to the benefits of the children. Neither the children nor their parents are ever billed for the treatments they receive.

Please Accept A Custom Hooded Sweatshirt* As Our Thanks for Your Contribution.

In support of St. Jude’s 2016 fund-raising effort, we are offering a customer hooded sweatshirt* to all our Cape Cod neighbors who donate $40 or more.

The sweatshirts are available a the following convenient locations:

  • Location 1
  • Location 2
  • Location 3

*Tip: Not pre-shrunk. Choose one size larger.

Make your check payable to: Cape Cod St. J.C.H. Fund. All funds go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

With Heartfelt Thanks From Your Cape Cod Professionals,

Lincoln Stubbs
Balanced HVAC 

Tim McElroy, President 
Cape Cod Master Plumbers

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 04:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, December 02 2015

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CES) Rebates Will Be Reduced After 12/31/15.

We recently announced that rebates had been extended indefinately. However because so many homeowners have already taken advantage of these incentives, the CES has announced that rebate amounts will decrease as of the 1st of the year.

Ranging from $750 up to a maximum $3,750, current rebates are available to eligible homeowners who install qualifying air source heat pumps (central or ductless split systems). To qualify, systems must be installed and application received by 12/31/15.

Rebates will be available in 2016, but amounts will only range from $625 up to a maximum of $2,500.

Heat pumps provide cooling in summer and heat in winter far more efficiently than electric resistance or oil heaters.

These rebates are in addition to the rebates and and 0% financing also avaialbe through the Mass Save(R) program.

Learn more by contacting Lincoln, your Quality Installation Verification (QIV) approved contractor at 508-428-0974, or schedule a no-pressure no-obligation consultation online.

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 01:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 09 2015

Always test your heating system early even before the cold arrives. It's the surest way to know that heat will be there when you do need it. Problems are most likely to appear after your system has been idle for months. You want to identify problems and get them fixed now. It never fails that when temperatures first drop our phones start ringing off the hook. Test now and avoid the rush if your system will need repair.

Because it will heat up your home, it's best to perform this simple test when temperatures are first in the early 70s. Simply set your thermostat to "heat" and turn up the temperature setting. Wait a while after hearing your system start. Then check to see that there's warm air coming from every vent (or heat coming from your radiant system).

Give us a call if you experience any unusual noises or odors, or if you have any doubts or questions about your system's peformance.

Of course your best assurance of a trouble-free season with special seasonal savings and benefits comes with a precision maintenance service by your Balanced HVAC professional. If you have a humidifier, be sure to have it serviced too.

Schedule Maintenance Service Now.

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 08:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 09 2015
Scheduled to expire September 20th, this rebate offer has been extended indefinitely. Ranging from $750 up to a maximum of $3,750, the rebates are available to eligible homeowners who install qualifying air source heat pumps (central or ductless split systems).
 
Heat pumps provide cooling in summer and heat in winter far more efficiently than electric resistance or oil heaters.  
 
These rebates are in addition to to the rebates and 0% financing also available through the Mass Save(R) program.
 
Learn more by contacting Lincoln, your Quality Installation Verification (QIV) approved contractor,
at 508-428-0974 o
r schedule a no-pressure no-obligation consultation 
Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 09:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 09 2015
Squirrel Threatens Cape Family

No, marauding squirrels are not terrorizing our neighborhoods. But we did find one recently when we investigated a deadly carbon monoxide leak from a customer's furnace. Yes, a squirrel had curled up inside the homeowner's warm chimney and died.

If we had not peformed that routine preventative maintenance check, the outcome may have been tragic. Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of poisoning in the U.S. Even low level exposures are dangerous to your family's health. Carbon monoxide induced headaches and respiratory symptoms are often mistaken as winter colds or flu viruses even by medical professionals. Infants and the elderly are especially at risk to such low level exposure.

Deadly carbon monoxide gases are odorless and colorless. The only way to protect your family is by:

  • Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Our professional carbon monoxide detectors are far more sensitive than those sold in home centers and hardware stores.
  • Scheduling an annual safety check by your heating professional early every fall. This important service is included with every Balanced HVAC pre-winter maintenance tune-up.
  • Checking your chimney or furnace flue throughout the year to be sure that the cap is firmly in place.

Call us now at 508-428-0974, or schedule maintenance service online.

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 02 2015

Find Your Air Conditioner's S.E.E.R.

The chart below traces the history of the S.E.E.R. for residential air conditioners and heat pumps:

The History of S.E.E.R.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating

Before 1980

6 or less

1980 to 1985

7 or less

1986 to 1991

8 or less

1992 to 2005

10 to 12

2006 to present

13* or more

*Minimum U.S. allowable. If you're not sure when yours was installed,
find the model number on the nameplate of your unit, and give us a call at 508-428-0974. 

As the number increases, your energy use for the same level of cooling decreases proportionally. That means that a 14 S.E.E.R. unit installed today will use half the energy of a 7 S.E.E.R. unit installed in the 1980s. A new 16 S.E.E.R. unit installed today will be 60% more efficient than a 10 S.E.E.R. system from the early 1990s.

Find Your Savings.

These next charts illustrate the savings owners can expect from a high efficiency replacement in a typical 2,000 sq. ft. Cape Cod home:

Eversource Energy Customers’

Estimated Seasonal Energy Savings When
Upgrading Your Cooling System

Your Current AC

8 S.E.E.R.

10 S.E.E.R.

12 S.E.E.R..

Estimated Seasonal Cost with An Aging AC or Heat Pump

$519

$415

$345

14 S.E.E.R.
 

$296 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.
 

Your Seasonal Savings
 

$223
43%
 

$119
29%
 

$49
14%
 

15 S.E.E.R.
 

$275 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.
 

Your Seasonal Savings
 

$244
47%
 

$139
34%
 

$70
20%
 

16 S.E.E.R.

$260 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.

Your Seasonal Savings

$260
50%

$155
37%

$86
25%

18 S.E.E.R.

$231 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.

Your Seasonal Savings

$288
56%

$184
44%

$115
33%

Source: Calculator provided by PECO Energy (www.peco.com) based on costs of cooling a typical 2,000 sq. ft. Philadelphia area home to 70°F from May through early September at Eversource's 6/2015 rate of $0.152 per kWh. Figures here are adjusted to U.S. Department of Energy estimate of 729 cooling days in the greater Boston, MA area vs 1032 in Phila.

My Generation Energy Customers’

Estimated Seasonal Energy Savings When
Upgrading Your Cooling System

Your Current AC

8 S.E.E.R.

10 S.E.E.R.

12 S.E.E.R..

Estimated Seasonal Cost with An Aging AC or Heat Pump

$757

$604

$503

14 S.E.E.R.
 

$431 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.
 

Your Seasonal Savings
 

$325
43%
 

$173
29%
 

$72
14%
 

15 S.E.E.R.
 

$401 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.
 

Your Seasonal Savings
 

$355
47%
 

$203
34%
 

$102
20%
 

16 S.E.E.R.

$378 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.

Your Seasonal Savings

$378
50%

$226
37%

$125
25%

18 S.E.E.R.

$336 estimated annual energy cost for cooling.

Your Seasonal Savings

$420
56%

$268
44%

$167
33%

Source: Calculator provided by PECO Energy (www.peco.com) based on costs of cooling a typical 2,000 sq. ft. Philadelphia are home to 70°F from May through early September at My Generation's 6/2015 rate of $0.152 per kWh. Figures here are adjusted to U.S. Department of Energy estimate of 729 cooling days in the greater Boston, MA area vs 1032 in Phila.

In fact, your actual savings are likely to be much higher than these estimates with a Balanced HVAC installation. Here’s why:

The estimates assume:

  • That the system you are replacing was installed properly. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that “nearly half of all heating and cooling in the U.S. never performs to its advertised capacity due to incorrect installation.”
  • That it has been maintained regularly. A neglected system typically loses between 3% and 10% efficiency per year.
  • That your ductwork is properly designed and not leaking due to poor installation, aging seals or foundation settlement. The U.S. Department of Energy warns that such leaks rather than the equipment itself are “the real source of (energy efficiency) problems.”
  • That your system has been properly balanced. (Most technicians don't have the skills.) 
  • Your system uses a standard thermostat.Addition of a programmable thermostat can increase efficiency even more.

With your installation by Balanced HVAC, you are assured maximum comfort and energy efficiency.

Learn how installation, service & maintance by Balanced HVAC can deliver what others can’t.

Posted by: Lincoln Stubbs AT 11:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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    About us

    Cape Cod's Choice for Total Comfort and Efficient Air Conditioning, Heating and Heat Pump Installation, Maintenance and Repair.

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    15 Jan Sebastian Dr.
    Sandwich, MA 02563
    Phone: 508-428-0974
    Email: lincoln@balancedhvac.com

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